What made Ian McKellen so upset he almost quit the Hobbit trilogy

Contributed by
Nov 19, 2013

While we get ready to see Ian McKellen’s Gandalf keep truckin’ on his Middle-earth journey with the latest Hobbit sequel next month, it turns out the award-winning actor almost bailed halfway through the film shoot.

The tidbit came up in one of the special features on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition Blu-ray set, where McKellen recounted the story of how he had to shoot large portions of the trilogy on a green screen — alone — so his character could be added in the appropriate size.

But apparently McKellen didn’t enjoy being put out on an island all by himself: 

“I got absolutely miserable and had a little cry to myself. I didn’t realize that the microphone I was wearing was open so everybody could hear me muttering to myself about how I wanted to go home and so on.

It was so distressing and off-putting and difficult that I thought ‘I don’t want to make this film if this is what I’m going to have to do’. It’s not what I do for a living. I act with other people, I don’t act on my own.”

For a classical actor like McKellen, it makes sense he’d have issues working in front of a green screen by himself. Though it’s pretty common these days, it’s still kind of weird — especially when you don’t even get to work with the rest of the cast.

Luckily for all of us, the cast knew he was upset, and went above and beyond to let him know they really, really needed him around. How? They decorated McKellen’s personal tent with props from Rivendell sets, because… well, that’s awesome:

“I was made to feel, as so often happens when you’re working with Peter Jackson and his colleagues, that you belong and you’re to feel at ease and at home and happy.”

Good job, Hobbit cast and crew. Crisis averted.

(Via Nerd Approved)

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